By this point I had picked him several dozen ripe blackberries. Our hands were stained with purple juices lining the creases in our skin. I can reach higher and deeper into the bushes so I collect the ripest, fattest berries from overhead and out of his reach while he works at my knee level.
I had eaten my fill and it was time to return home for his bedtime. He is insatiable and would have remained indefinitely, picking berries on this hillside a few blocks from our house.
Warm late evening sun touched our skin and I felt relaxed. I felt love. Each of us bathed in a sort of calm.
I plucked three more berries, ate one, and gave him the remaining pair.
As he bent to pick up his bike, I said, “Who takes good care of you?”
He answered immediately.
“Your mom does?”
“She’s the best.”
Yes, she is the best. Of course she is.
Whatever question I ask him, I have learned to expect the unexpected in his response. In fact, the unexpected is what makes him so great. You can’t script this and you simply get to live it as his growth unfolds every day.
Honestly and earnestly. Matter-of-fact, covered in blackberry juice. Content.